I think I mentioned in my making-gumbo post that Tara and I were looking for a new bed.
This is a necessity now that Audrey is living with us. Just a few weeks earlier, I sold her twin bed on Craigslist. We were trying to pare things down before the move and get rid of as much excess stuff as possible. And, her move into our home full-time was unexpected. She’s been sleeping on a mattress on the floor ever since, but that’s a short term solution until we move (two days from now. 2 DAYS. Whoa). And because she’s older, and Tara isn’t a fan of our current bed (“it’s too soft,” she claims, but that’s like saying your bank account has too much money in it, at least in my opinion), so we decided to give her our old bed and buy a new one for ourselves.
We were intrigued by the Sleep Number bed, and decided to check it out. My parents warned me in advance “that’s an expensive bed,” but my dad also complains when breakfast exceeds $8 a plate, so I figured it was all relative. We stopped by the local store on a rainy Saturday a couple of weeks ago and met with a salesman named Adam, who did a nice job of convincing us this bed was the best thing since sliced bread. (By the way, why is it when people talk about really cool life-changing inventions, they always mention sliced bread? I’d think the wheel would rank higher. Or electricity). Since I like it soft and Tara prefers hers hard (that’s what she said), the fact that we could each adjust the firmness level to appeal to our personal comfort was a big plus. Each side of the mattress could be raised or lowered, too – perfect for reading or watching TV. To say we were big fans of the bed would be an understatement. But then came the price quote. Let’s just say we could eat twenty-five dinners at Beast for the price of this mattress.
Holy sticker shock!
“Shall I ring you up?” Adam asked adorably. I say adorably because it was cute how he thought we were willing to just plop down five grand for a new bed without at least sleeping on it. Pun intended. Oh, to be so young and naive! Salesmen amuse me. Still, we went through the motions, filling out a credit application and receiving instant approval for in-house financing. We left with the promise of having a decision by the next day, pending a little research.
The truth is, it was such a nice bed I was willing to take the plunge. IF the internet told me Sleep Number was a really good brand and worth the price.
The internet did not tell me Sleep Number was a really good brand and worth the price.
Instead, reviews – both professional and personal – were mixed at best. People who love the bed love the bed. But those who don’t (of which there were many) are equally vocal in their disdain for the bed. I have no personal experience so I don’t know which camp Tara and I would have landed in, but for that price we weren’t about to take any chances. Too many people complained about the mattress sagging in the middle, the mechanics breaking down, the limited nature of the warranty, etc. So we went to a discount mattress store and bought a conventional “cushion firm” pillow top mattress instead. For a lot less money.
Meanwhile, Adam kept calling me. And I kept ignoring those calls, letting them go to voicemail. Breaking somebody’s heart is never easy.
“You have to tell him it’s over,” Tara said. “Just be sure to let him down gently.”
Turns out her analogy was eerily appropriate. Because telling a mattress salesman you are no longer interested in what he’s got to offer is surprisingly similar to a breakup. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “I’m sorry, but I’ve changed my mind about this.”
Adam: “Oh, no! Was it something I did?”
Me: “Not at all. You were a great guy. It’s not you, it’s me.”
Adam: “I can change. Mattresses, that is. Maybe you’d be interested in something a little less spendy?”
Me: “I’m sorry. My mind is made up. This just isn’t going to work out right now.”
Adam: “Maybe sometime in the future you’ll be willing to give it another go?”
Me: “Perhaps, but I can’t guarantee that. I’ll be in a different place then.”
So we hung up, and though Adam was disappointed, he thanked me for being man enough to let him know immediately instead of dragging things out indefinitely.
Now, if only I could figure out how to “break up” with the Canadian pharmacy that keeps calling, trying to sell me little blue pills…